A Gorgeous Machine
Released in late 2016, the Cricut Explore Air 2 is packed with features that make it the most versatile and fastest cutter on the market. It sold out immediately and has proven to be a timeless favorite among craftsmen. Over time, it has become more affordable and remains one of the best prices you can get for a home vinyl cutter.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is a gorgeous machine with useful features to make your cutting projects a success, such as a dual blade holder and 2x fast mode. It can cut intricate and precise patterns from vinyl and cardstock, and can even handle thicker materials like foam board and felt. It’s a great choice for crafters and makes a great gift.
Cricut makes craftsmanship chic – you’ll be hard pressed to find a die cutter as beautiful as Explore Air 2. Measuring 22 x 7 x 6 inches, it has clean lines and a smooth, glossy finish. It does weigh about 21 pounds, however, so it’s not the most portable machine on the market. It’s available in a variety of colors, from cherry and lilac to mint and matte black.
With an almost silent click of a button, the rectangular machine opens up to reveal a cutting and tracking mechanism inside that looks a bit like a printer, but much cleaner. Even after running multiple projects through the unit, it looks like new inside, almost as if it hasn’t been used at all. The enclosed fine blade is designed to cut more than 100 materials, including cardstock, iron-on, vinyl, leather, foam, cork and glitter paper.
The pen holder comes with a pre-installed dual attachment adapter, which means you can cut and score or write at the same time. Another aspect we like is the safety of its use. Because the blade is enclosed, it must be removed or tried hard to get stabbed, which means it’s good to have your child around when using the device. You also don’t have to worry about getting your fingers caught on anything while it’s running.
You can store accessories in the cup holder at the top of the machine or in two convenient compartments inside. The smaller one is specifically designed to hold accessory adapters and has a magnetic strip where you can store replacement blades. A larger storage pocket holds additional tools. These clever storage options give the Cricut an overall look that keeps your workspace from becoming too cluttered.
With a cutting force of 350 grams, the Explore Air 2 can cut even the most challenging materials such as wood, aluminum and thick leather. the Explore Air 2 can cut over 100 different materials. As long as you stick with the materials Cricut recommends, the results will always be accurate, no matter how challenging the material is. Fabrics and woven materials should be glued or held in place with some sort of stabilizer.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 can cut materials up to 12″ wide x 24″ long. This size is limited by the maximum cutting mat available from Cricut. The cutting mat is available in two sizes 12″x12″ or 12″x24″. Although your material can be slightly larger, you can only cut designs up to 11.5″x11.5″ or 11.5″x23.5″. Twelve inches is sufficient for most crafters, as scrapbook cardstock is typically 12 inches wide, and other materials are designed for most standard size machines.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 features a high quality blade made of German carbide. This ultra wear resistant steel can withstand heavy use, so even if you are working with challenging materials, the blades on this machine will not let you down.
The maximum material depth is 2 mm, which is thicker than what other machines can offer. As a result, this machine can cut over 100 materials, giving you plenty of options when working with scrapbooks, cards and decorations with world-class simplicity. The blades are said to last 3 times longer than standard steel blades.
The Fine Tip Blade was originally designed to handle thin and medium weight materials such as poster board, iron-on, vinyl and card stock. It comes standard with your Explore Air 2 and is the right blade for most projects.
If you know anything about cutting fabric, you know you need specific fabric scissors, and your machine’s blades are no exception. The bonded fabric blade is designed to work with fabric materials with backing. It allows you to create stunning appliqués and trims to customize your clothing and quilts.
The Bonded Fabric Blade is pink and matches the pink FabricGrip pad, both of which should only be used with bonded fabrics for extended life.
The Deep Point Blade is used on thicker materials such as leather and even magnets. It has a steep 60-degree angle instead of the standard 45 degrees of a fine point blade, so you can cut thicker materials without problems.
It is made of harder, more durable steel and must also be used with the deep-tip blade housing.
Cricut Explore Air 2 gives you Bluetooth connectivity and creative storage space for all your tools. So no matter how you look at it, this is a machine made for vertigo.
A dual knife holder is a knife holder with two clamps attached. One of them can be used for cutting and the other for writing. The main benefit of this feature is that it saves a lot of time. You can cut and write at the same time.
This special pad has been reformulated to improve performance. What’s more? The mat has been customized to match a number of recommended materials, including vinyl, iron-on, embossed cardstock, patterned paper and more.
Typically, the mat has a good grip to hold your material firmly in place. Best of all, it comes with easy-to-use rulers and grid markers for versatility and flexibility of use.
The Smart Set Dial is a large dial on the side of the machine that makes cutting much easier. All you have to do is turn the dial to the material you want to cut and the Cricut Explore will handle all the settings for you. No more guesswork!
The dials are made from the most common materials, including paper, vinyl, iron-on, lightweight cardstock, cardstock, fabric, and poster board. But if you need other settings, choose “Custom” and select the material you want to cut in the software. You can enter your own settings and save them for later reuse.
If you use any of these common materials, the Smart Set Dial is very convenient because you don’t have to look around in the software to find your material.
As an avid crafter, Explore Air 2’s double speed feature is life-changing. While DIY projects are all about patience and customizability, fast speed allows you to get more done. This is especially true if you run a home-based crafting business and will be making multiple identical designs.
This machine is available in four different colors. These are mint green, soft pink, cream/gold and light blue. You can always choose the color that matches your interior perfectly.
The nice look of the Cricut Explore Air 2 only hints at what the machine can do, and there are plenty of free projects to get your creative juices flowing. Once you find one you like, it’s easy to load it onto the machine and follow the instructions. The machine stayed fairly quiet while working, making little to no sound as it cut, wrote, scored and moved around the paper. In terms of consumables, it works best when using card stock.
One of the highlights of the Explore Air 2 is its highly regarded “Quick Mode” feature, which proved to be easy to use. All you have to do is move the dial to the right material, such as vinyl, cardstock or an iron, and check the “Quick Mode” box from your device. It’s much louder than normal speed, but it does process faster. Unless you are working on multiple projects and are pressed for time, this is not necessary. Either way, Cricut runs faster than other machines and the whole process is smoother.
The free Design Space software offers you a great deal of creative freedom. In addition to creating your own projects, you can purchase other designs, or you can choose something from the extensive free section of the inventory, which includes items such as baby shower cards, tea towels and holiday banners. Each item contains all the details you need to create your final product, such as tools, paper size and number of cards, as well as information on approximate time frames and ease of creation.
Designing your own projects is intuitive, and you can upload any image directly to the app on your smartphone, computer or tablet, with a transparent or black and white background, and then create a template. If the image is not yet transparent, the program will change it to transparent and then you can start cutting.
For passionate crafters as well as hobbyists and professionals, having a reliable hobbing set like the Cricut Explore Air 2 will make your job convenient and easy. For the user, in most cases, a simple and versatile cutter will provide the best results. This Cricut model is the ideal machine for the enthusiastic craftsman because it is fast, effective and also offers the user a convenient way to implement it.